I finished two books worth a share last week....
1. The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs: On Tuesdays and Fridays, I have Book Group -- with a group of fourth graders in my son's class. It's a sweet book, and my book buddies rated it between a 7.5 and a 10 (on a 10-point scale). While they all enjoyed reading it, the boys preferred a little more action, and the girls loved the stories told within the story. I really liked the setting -- rural Missouri, 1923. The author used some great folksy language, and you could really see the main character, Eben, shuffling along dusty country roads with his dog trailing behind, visiting other farms and neighbors looking for "wonders". The story made our group think about wonders within our own homes or communities, and the language and setting made the readers think about what life was like for a kid back then. So for 9-10-11 year olds, this is a good choice.
2. Son of a Witch: The second of a three-book series, this story picks up where Wicked leaves off. My reaction to both this book and Wicked is that the author Gregory Maguire has a very strange imagination. While I had trouble following some of the wild psyches of the characters, I was still intrigued with the seductive story and complicated, decorated characters. I liked Son a bit better than Wicked, but I'm not sure I'm inspired to complete the trilogy because I don't get the impression that the third continues the storyline. You should read Wicked before Son. But should you read them at all? No, if you're in an introspective, impassioned mood. Yes, if you're looking for something a little more magically uncivilized.
Now that I've checked off "uncivilized" for now, I'm off to work on the March issue of The Sun magazine; a re-read of a book of gardening vignettes, People With Dirty Hands, for a little spring inspiration; and Jack Kornfield's The Wise Heart, for a little inner boost. In and around work, mom, wife, Netflix, and that other sock I need to knit.